Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Help for the Homeschooler--More Dreaded Schedules

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

I don't really know what to tell you about the daily schedule because this year I am going to be teaching Kindergarten and 4th grade and those don't mesh too well, you know? But here is what I do know:

You need to decide on a start time. You won't hit it every day but it's nice to have a goal. We aimed for 9:00 last year but really, really need to move that up to 8:30 this year since we are adding a student and grade to the mix. And I don't want to run around screeching at my kids each morning "FIFTEEN MINUTES UNTIL SCHOOL STARTS AND YOU HAVEN'T EVEN BRUSHED YOUR HAIR!!!!". I will give reminders about the time. If we consistently don't hit it due to dawdlers, school is going to go deep into the afternoon. A few times of that and I think they'll get going on their own. And there are times when we just all need to sleep in a bit later. Remember: flexible.

You'll need to break for lunch. As I mentioned before, it's good to know what subjects you want to finish before lunch. A lot of moms squeeze in read alouds during lunch. (We do).

For the last 2 years we have been done with school by lunch time so the afternoons were theirs except for chores at 4:00. This year I'm thinking that will not be the case. So....

You need to decide how long the day will go. After lunch, will you start right back up or have a break? Being consistent with this is important to stave off the whinies "but yesterday you let me play first." Will you stop at 3:00 no matter what? Deciding these things ahead of time makes it easier and then you and your kids can relax inside that schedule. Certainly if a child has not been working they may need to go past the stop time as a consequence, but as a rule, decide when you want to be done. There are other days to finish things. Plus, YOU have other things to do.

Let's just put it this way: I'm no fan of school from 8:00-3:00, but if I need to do that a few times to make a point to the kiddos, I'm prepared. :) We are happier as a family when we get nearly everything done before lunch. So, that is my goal.

You need to decide on an order. I hate to admit it, but I used to let my daughter pick what she was in the mood to do first, second, etc. No more. I have learned that some things just need to get done and out of the way. You will learn later how long each subject takes. You will readjust your schedule many times. And you will fall into a good routine. Just give it time and be flexible.

And this is where you'll need that Course of Study we made in step one. That way you won't forget to add in whole subjects. Believe me. I know. I would think this would be especially helpful if you are homeschooling 3+ children.

Next: Planning to Make a Nerd's Heart Flutter


  1. Looking forward to this series, Brenda! Still a few years away, but it's on my mind again since the end of grad school is finally in sight and we just learned we're expecting baby #2. :)

  2. Oh B ~
    I can't wait for the planning to make a nerd's heart flutter !!!!
    You know I'm gonna love it !

  3. Great points! Going into my 3rd year of homeschooling I agree with all of them ;-D My nerdy heart is fluttering at the word planning - looking forward to that one!

  4. I am impressed. It looks like you have a good plan for the year! Yes I posted a daily schedule inside my homeschool cabinet last year. It included activities and a schedule for my 3 year old too. I really enjoy laughing at myself over that schedule!! Ha ha! Now I go more with a start time (directly after Curious George) and a general order, as you said.


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)